Easter Weekend - April 15th, 16th, 17th; then
Saturday May 6th (Midlothian Heritage Week)
Summer Weekend - August 26th, 27th, 28th.
ALL at 2pm Prompt.

Research Reports will be available for sale.
Talks and Tours on additional dates are by arrangement.

Soutra Hospital
Medieval hospital

Midway between Edinburgh and the magnificent Borders abbeys from the c12th to the c17th stood Soutra medieval hospital, a refuge for wayfarers and the needy, high on the Royal Road the main Anglo-Scottish highway.

The investigations

what was medieval medicine ? Aided by demolition to ground level and excellent preservation of human remains and herbal remains, Soutra hospital proves an ideal site for the unique archaeo-medical investigation (1986-now) - exploring actual medical practice through the distinctive waste produced.

Which recipes were selected - for what purpose - and with what outcome for the patient? Making and using medieval medicines leaves waste which may be interpreted and understood by consulting medieval recipe collections. These give us a narrative, a guide-book. We enter the physician’s mind, share his plans and, more than in the best museum, we empathise with the patient in his plight.

Beyond this we are in the unprecedented position to evaluate this system of medicine, recipe by recipe and ask, did all of it, or any of it work ??

We reconstruct Medicines from the Mud. That is the uniqueness of the Soutra investigations.

Soutra location map

Highlights in the Investigations, 1986 to 2011

Childbirth management
Deficiency Diseases & Dietary Supplements
Disinfection & containment of diseases
Epidemic management
Famine management
Food and Water poisoning
Parasitology & Purgatives
Psychiatric illnesses
Surgical Amputation.

Regular Open Days are held at Soutra Aisle on Easter weekend and the last weekend in August (Sat. Sun. Mon.- at 2 p.m). Soutra Aisle is plainly signposted on the A68, A7. Talks and Site Tours by arrangement.

Buses on the A68 are run by Munros of Jedburgh - Ask for the Gilston Road end and walk uphill (B6368) for 7-8 minutes. Soutra Aisle, with on-site interpretation panels, is the only building for miles. This is a hiltop (1200ft - 383m)